Few studies have explored the potential impact of atrial flutter (AFl) on ischaemic stroke (IS) outcome. The aim of the present study was to compare the clinical course of IS in patients with AFl and patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

Material and methods:
A retrospective analysis of patients consecutively admitted to a tertiary care centre between 2013 and 2015 due to IS or transient ischaem-ic attack with permanent AFl or permanent or persistent AF was performed.

The study groups consisted of 528 patients, including 490 (92.8%) patients with AF and 38 (7.2%) patients with AFl. The mean age and prestroke CHA2DS2-VASc scores were similar between the patients with AFl and those with AF. Most IS cases in the AF group were clas-sified as cardioembolic strokes (74.9% vs. 39.5% in AFl, p < 0.01), and lacunar strokes were the most common in the AFl group (47.4% vs. 14.3% in AF, p < 0.01). The multivariable analysis revealed that the presence of AF (OR = 8.6, 95% CI: 1.2–57, p = 0.02), lacunar stroke (OR = 0.1, 95% CI: 0.03–0.31, p < 0.001), baseline Rankin scale score (OR = 16.6, 95% CI: 9.8–28), lack of prestroke therapeutic anticoagulation (OR = 6.1, 95% CI: 1.1–33), diabetes (OR = 2.9, 95% CI: 1.3–6.5, p < 0.01), chronic heart failure (OR = 14.2, 95% CI: 5.8–34, p < 0.001), and current smoking (OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.39–0.99, p < 0.01) were significantly associated with the stroke outcome.

Disabling or fatal IS was observed less often in patients with AFl than in patients with AF. This finding can possibly be explained by the more frequent occurrence of lacunar strokes in the AFl group compared with that in the AF group.